Monday, 11 November 2013

i quite like Mondays,

I have my music on shuffle, Bob Geldof and the Boomtown rats just came on, "i don't like Mondays", apart from the fact that the song was written about a remorseless high school shooter. I can't hear that song and not thing of a train conductor in Belgium singing it full on karaoke style when i asked him to help me translate a letter into Flemish, the first word was "next Monday", he read that and went for it.  Nobody in the train really seemed to mind ( I imagine they didn't know he was singing about a girl who walked into school and shot her classmates to "brighten up the day"). 

Listening to the song took me down a terrible live aid rabbit hole, haircuts rapidly deteriorated and i ended up in a David Bowie place pretty quickly. It also made me think that lots of people really don't like Mondays (incidentally it also made me think it might be time for a haircut) we've been over this before but if you live for  the weekend you should really think about if you're living right. I like Mondays, I don't teach and often the museums are open for free. I do my long rides, I sometimes take my pupils to museums, I hear from my participants in Arizona about all that they've achieved over the weekend and the coffee shops are a lot less busy. 
Monday 
If you're doing something you love you will never do a day's work in your life. You'll never retire because you never began working in the first place, you keep doing the same thing, just slower. If you're doing what you love, you also do it better (case in point possibly the greatest live music performance in history http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3WcZGN2pTA ) and if you exude passion for what you're doing, i firmly believe you'll meet with success.

On Friday i was sat in a car body shop, my car seems to be bleeding most of its essential oils at the moment and in order to ascertain exactly what is haemorraging from where I had to get the underside steam cleaned. As my car was getting cleaner than I am, is at with the most surly tradesman I've come across in a while, i didn't help myself by reading a book, weighing as much as a teenage girl or wearing pink sunglasses but it was pretty clear that on my entrance I'd been judged and I wasn't scoring 10/10. efforts at conversation were met with grunts so I went back to Clifford Geertz. After about 20 minutes one of my type 2 participants called me and we talked about some issues she was having, we talked for maybe 20 minutes and then i put the phone down.

The chap running the car shop waited until I was finished, i was waiting to have him tell me off for talking loudly in his office but to my surprise he told me he's been listening, he said he'd never been checked for diabetes but worried about it a lot, he said hearing me talking had made him think it wasn't that bad and that he was going to get himself checked out. He said it was really nice to hear someone taking the time to care about someone and that doctors never did that. he said lots of nice things, frankly he said lots of things i thought i 'd never hear from a shaven headed 250lb who fixed cars for a living, he showed me pictures of his kids and asked lots of questions.

I told him about what I did, about bike racing, about the Pascua Yaqui project i run, about AYUDA and about diabetes. He listened, he didn't grunt once. After I was finished he said he wanted to help, that he didn't have money to donate but that he wanted to help me put on a concert, he promotes his son's band and other musical groups and wanted to help me put on a concert to raise money.

my ride today took me into the military graveyard, there was a big field of white graves reminiscent of those I've found myself sleeping in more than once in Flanders. The difference was that this one didn't have grass, it had holes, waiting to be filled. That upset me a lot, that could so easily have been me, i was a hair's breadth from the army at 18 (literally, I decided to cut out when they decided I needed to get my hair cut) I wanted to be outside and i couldn't work out how to make it pay. I'm glad i decided to do what made me happya nd think later about how to put a roof over my head. Who knows if I wouldn't be filling a hole in the gorund otherwise.
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori
I've often wondered how I seem to bump into people who are extraordinarily predisposed to help me, be it with a beer in Belgium, a sofa in Spain or a coffee in Catalonia  I've been pretty lucky the last few years to have a few minor moments of ill fortune more than offset by all the wonderful things people have done to help me. I'm not a big believer in religion, and i don't think i have any guardian angels. the only thing i can come up with is that i'm pretty genuine in what i do, I LOVE doing what i do and i care about it so deeply that i can't help but be passionate about it. I remember telling a young volunteer that my one tip for fundraising was to exude a passion for what you do, in her 16 year old wisdom she told me i was naive and idealistic (isn't that supposed to go the other way around?) and then she met someone in a cafe who ended up hosting her biggest fundraiser. I don't know if it's serendipity, karma, yin and yang or what but life and people deeply reward and appreciate passion. If there isn't passion in what you do then look to what you're passionate about and worry about making it pay later, I've always followed that approach and i might be underweight and living in a garage but i'm very happy!

seriously though watch this
greatest showman ever born.


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